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Houston Astros: Jeff Luhnow Hints at Some Roster Decisions

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Mar 5, 2016; Kissimmee, FL, USA; Houston Astros designated hitter Jon Singleton (21) tosses the ball to the umpire in the middle of the fifth inning of a spring training baseball game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Osceola County Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 5, 2016; Kissimmee, FL, USA; Houston Astros designated hitter Jon Singleton (21) tosses the ball to the umpire in the middle of the fifth inning of a spring training baseball game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Osceola County Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Jon Singleton Era With the Astros is not Guaranteed

The Houston Astros are now looking not just to get into the playoffs, and they want to go deep into the playoffs. Some people are under the belief that what happens in April and May does not necessarily impact the outcome at the end of the season. If that logic were true, the 2015 Astros would not have made it to the playoffs in 2015 without the hot start out of the gate. Every game is crucial, and the Astros are smart enough to realize that they must put out the best 25-man roster opening day.

All spring, all eyes have been on former top prospect Jon Singleton? C can he get out of this two season long funk and be the contributing factor that he was expected when the Astros traded Hunter Pence for him and Jarred Cosart. To his credit, Singleton took this offseason a little more seriously and gained 25 pounds, 17 of which was extra muscle. His justification was that it would make him more durable, but his talent is not the issue here. There is a disconnection point between his ability and his mind, which could make him become Brett Wallace 2.0.

Last night on Talking Stros, we talked to Jayne Hansen of WTHB Astros blog. Without knowing Jeff Luhnow’s quotes from earlier, I will get to that in a second, but I asked Jayne what her thoughts of Singleton were. She thinks that he will be given a month to prove himself in the big leagues because the Astros need to see what they have in Singleton. Matt Duffy and Singleton would make Jayne’s opening day roster with Preston Tucker filling in at DH until Evan Gattis is ready to come back.

Talking Stros co-host Brandon DelCastillo called into the show to weigh in on Singleton, he thinks that the Astros should try to put Singleton on waivers and if he gets claimed, so be it! If he clears waivers, take him off the 40-man roster and put him at Triple-A. Not sure the Astros would take that route, but it’s sad that it has gotten to this point with someone who was counted on contributing towards the Astros winning the World Series.

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In a Q&A session with Evan Drellich, Luhnow addressed the battle for first base. Luhnow’s quote via Drellich basically shows the cards that the Astros are holding, “Everybody is going to have to pull their weight. There’s not going to be anybody on that 25-man roster that’s not going to contribute towards wins, or else they’ll be replaced by somebody else.” Luhnow mentioned that there were too many quality first base candidates to stick with someone who can’t hack it.

We already know that Luhnow is high on Matt Duffy and Tyler White as well as being impressed with what he has seen from A.J. Reed. There are too many people who deserve to be on the roster as is and they will not carry the dead weight like they did last season. Because the other teams are going to put their best 25-man rosters out there to face the Astros. It’s not just that Singleton is struggling, so is Max Stassi, but it’s how he is struggling.

Maybe Singleton needs a change of scenery, but unfortunately, he has no trade value currently as a player who can’t hit major league pitchers. I would love to see Singleton bounce back because of what he offers, but it sounds like the Astros are not going to be as patient as they were with Chris Carter.

Next: Houston Astros: The Pressure is On

The interesting comment that Luhnow made was along the lines of that the starting first baseman who starts opening day will not necessarily be the guy on June 1st. I wonder if he is saying who I think he is, that Reed will not be up to the big leagues till June.

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